Though it may not fully feel like it, spring is upon us! April showers, is the time many homeowners start to prep their lawns and gardens for the coming summer. But there are a few things some homeowners can do to not only make their lawns green, but themselves.
Typically, approximately 30% of water consumption is used outside – for watering lawns, gardens, washing cars or generally cleaning.
According to the American government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 26.7% of our house water is used to keep our toilets flushing; 21.7% of our water use is for the laundry, followed by 16.8% use in the shower.
By targeting the two biggest uses of water: outside use and toilets, homeowners can potentially save anywhere between 30-50% on their water use and bills by installing a rainwater harvester.
Rainwater harvesting barrels for outside use is the easiest to install and does not require homeowners to tap into their homes interior or plumbing. Most harvesting systems are connected to the outside of the home through the gutters/drain, collecting the water runoff from the roof. Storage tanks can be set almost anywhere, alongside the home, or buried underground. Generally, harvesting systems have a basic filter, preventing leaves and other small debris from entering the system as well as a pump when the water stored is being used.
Though the rainwater collected is not safe to drink, or for some in home uses, such as in the kitchen, shower, etc rainwater harvested is perfect for watering lawns, cleaning your car or outside of your home.
Considering the recent winter many have had, the snowfall would have produced a vast amount of potential water storage as well. Heating cables can not only melt the snow to recapture it as water, but also works as a preventative measure against ice dams forming.
The most basic water barrels sell for only $50, and perfect for backyards, gardens and basic uses. More advanced systems have filtration systems, and can be connected to interior bathrooms for use with toilets, and other fixtures to save on water consumption.
Here is an online FAQ regarding rainwater harvesting.